FOX NFL Sunday anchor Curt Menafee offered an apology on behalf of FOX to Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears organization. The apology was for making up news headlines and telling viewers that they were real during a segment that aired during the Atlanta Falcons-Chicago Bears game in the opening game of the season.
Here is the segment in question from FOX coverage of the Falcons-Bears game. The segment made reference to the criticism that Jay Cutler received after an injured knee kept him on the sideline during the second half of their playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers. The segment displayed newspaper-style headlines saying "Cutler's No Leader" and "Cutler Lacks Courage". Daryl Johnston stated that these were "actual headlines from the local papers here in Chicago".
However, it was later found that these headlines never existed, as there were no such headlines found in a Chicago paper, or any newspaper in the United States. FOX was called out on it this week, leading to Menafee's apology today.
As part of this apology, the FOX production team covering the Falcons-Bears game was thrown under the bus. Menafee said that the production team "displayed an incorrect graphic" and "told our announcer Daryl Johnston that a taped video package that made air came from actual headlines...in fact, they were not".
It's one thing to display an incorrect graphic. It's another thing to blatantly lie to your viewers to try to make a point. Let's hope that FOX sports can be more responsible going forward.
FOX apologizes for fabricating Cutler headlines [Sports Grid]